Four C Trail

Longview, Texas

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6 Reviews
4 out of 5
About 40 miles east of Crockett. A moderate two to three day backpack with a car shuttle through East Texas pine and hardwood forests. Special Attractions: Big Slough Wilderness Area, endangered red cockaded woodpeckers, lush forest.

Four C Trail Professional Review and Guide

"About 40 miles east of Crockett. A moderate two to three day backpack with a car shuttle through East Texas pine and hardwood forests. Special Attractions: Big Slough Wilderness Area, endangered red cockaded woodpeckers, lush forest."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Longview
Distance: 40
Elevation Gain: 190 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Season: Fall through Spring.
Local Contacts: Davy Crockett National Forest 409-655-2299
Local Maps: Four C National Recreation Trail Map (Davy Crockett National Forest), Davy Crockett National Forest, Ratcliff, Weches, and Kennard USGS
Driving Directions: Directions to Four C Trail

Recent Trail Reviews


I give this trail high marks for solitude: didn't see a soul on the trail the entire time. Was a bit hot, which is probably why there wasn't much wildlife out and about. The map in the guide is hopelessly outdated, because all the roads are named differently and there are new roads that don't appear. Recommend getting a topo or google map of the area.


Three scouts and two scouters did this entire hike in one day, to complete the 20 mile hike requirement for the Hiking Merit Badge. We started early in the a.m. (about 7:15) on the North end of the trail and and went south. We had a chase car meet us at several spots where the trail crosses FM roads to resupply water and food. The hike lends itself to that, as it crosses roads about every 5 miles or so. We did one "spur" up a FM road for about .2 of mile, to make the total hike 20 miles (its listed at 19.8). Finished at about 7 p.m. This is a good spot to do the Hiking MB 20-miler. There are some ups and downs, but very slight and not enough to wear anyone out with elevation changes. The woods are pretty and for the most part you are in good wilderness--hiked by one house, that's about it. Saw 3 snakes and a couple of wild hogs, but never close enough to feel any danger. We did lose the trail at one point, early on when walking on an old right of way, we missed a 90 degree turn off the right away into the woods (right after crossing a wooden bridge)--we stayed on the right of way, and missed the turn. We noticed we stopped seeing the the white trail markers and doubled back. No big deal. Just watch for the markers; its well marked. May was a good time to do this as a single day hike. Day was long enough to have 12 hours of daylight and it was not too hot. The Big Slough wilderness area is a little wilder. Still easy to follow the trail, but a lot more spider's webs and several trees across the trail--I don't believe they let any vehicles down here, even for maintance. That part of the trial is through a marshy area, and you are hiking on an old railway berm that the tracks have been removed from.


First time on this trail. We did a brief hike near Ratcliff lake, followed by a day hike through the Big Slough wilderness in the upper central portion of the trail. f you can go on only one portion of the entire trail, do the Big Slough portion. We entered via a forest road going north from the burg of Ratcliff, at the southern end of the Big Slough. There is an established parking lot, but the east-west road marked on the map is actually an unmarked track with a locked gate. Walk east past the gate a couple hundred yards and find the 4-C crossing it. This is a nicely maintained trail that appears to receive light traffic. It has been a very wet spring, so everything was nice and green, but strongly recommend hiking boots for the periodic boggy stream crossings. Several long boardwalk sections keep you off the wettest areas. Beautiful forest hike improved with early dogwood and redbud blossoms, occasional wildflowers. Minimal wildlife viewing, with lots of bird singing activity but saw few close enough to identify them. The loop trails in the Big Slough may be there, but are essentially unidentifiable and clearly not well maintained. Enter at your own risk if you can find them. Neches overlook is not exactly an overlook but a wooded hilltop with minimal views of the river, unless we missed an open spot somewhere. Note of caution: Most of the roads identified on the map in this chapter are excellently maintained, but particularly in the southen portion, many are no longer named as forest roads, but as county roads with different numbers. Road signs, when present, are small and easy to miss. Strongly recommend stopping to pick up a one page map at the Ratcliff lake park entrance, or at the large ranger station just east of there in Ratcliff. This map is also pretty pathetic, but is a little more accurately labeled with road numbers.


My partner and I hiked from the Neches bluff overlook to the halfway point. The trail was pretty easy hiking. There was a point between pond camp and the shelter where an old forrest road ran with the trail and seperated from it just before the shelter/half way point. The trail markers were missing on some of the trees and the trail was covered with leaves causing us to get off course a bit. GPS got us back on track. No lie, pack water or cache it off of the forrest road to pick up later. There are no suitable sources of water. We filtered water twice then boiled it, then used it for cooking (with some aprehension). Saw a lot of hunters (buy an orange vest if you go before hunting season ends), even though deer season was over. The trail isn't secluded enough to remove you completely from civilization. We heard cars on and off througout the trip. The ammount of litter on the trail was dissappointing as well. Lot's of empty cases of beer, cans, bottles and shotgun shells. Most of the litter was near forrest road crossing though. As with most places if you get further from the road you see less evidence of humans. All in all it was a good hike with great weather. It makes a great hike for people in the Dallas area who want to get out somewhere with some real trees and a bit of solitude. I'm sure I'll do it again.


Only backbacked a very small portion of this trail since we had 15 in our Scout group and some were not ready for more. The terrain is hilly but well worth the time. Already planning to make the whole trail with friends. The Walnut Creek shelter has a leak in the center but 3 can still sleep with no problem. Beautiful country, also see the Caddo Mounds State Park nearby.

Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018